Wednesday, December 29, 2004


"You can't go anywhere without hearing people talk about how terrible earthquakes and tsunamis are. Ever since I joined a local Save Aceh corps, I know how to shut them up. Just shove a donation box towards them and they'll start discussing about the fine weather."
--A Friend Who Insisted On Anonymity
You can donate for Aceh earthquake and tsunami victims through:
  1. Indosiar (a national TV station)
    BCA account: 001-304-0009
  2. RCTI (another national TV station)
    BCA account: 128-300-7000
Looking for other ways to help? Try joining (in Bahasa), or visit (in Bahasa) and Indonesia Help (in English).

You can make a difference.
Just by spreading the call for help.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


One crucial point in my life was when I had to decide what college I wanted to enter. I had no clue. I just wanted to be somebody like everybody else, even though none of us had a clear definition what "somebody" was.

Then I saw the sign on a certain campus at Jalan Ganesha Bandung. It said...

Literally: No horses/delmans(1) allowed

So I applied for a major there. At least they had a standard. Or so I thought.

Apparently, they put the sign up because there had already been too many students horsing around.


(1): Delman is a simple two-wheeled (or four-wheeled) carriage heaved by a single horse and commonly used for transportation in rural areas. In cities, they use them mainly for recreational purpose or fertilizing asphalt.

Next Assignment...

buy a Tomcat

Worth quoting:

Ben Nicholson, an apprentice engineer was told to order a water tank, but he went ahead and purchased a three million pound Challenger battle tank instead.


I was just practicing for tomorrow's exam.

Worth quoting:
Michelle Wallace, head of development at Debenhams, said: "We want our staff to have a more rounded knowledge of the subject."

Monday, December 20, 2004


You wrote in your book about Timor = tin can on wheels. FYI, no other countries [except Korea] in South East Asia that can build this so-called four-wheeled tin can. The advanced Korean technology can build cars with thinner body plates yet its strength and durability still match (or even outmatch) those with body plates twice as thick. In a head-on collision, Timor's driver might have a better chance than, say, a Kijang's driver. And the car (Kia) already passed European quality control tests. So I disagree with your dissing Timor as a mere four-wheeled tin can.
--A friend

Thursday, December 16, 2004

This Is Why...

...I don't drink boiled tap water

Vocabulary Guide

1) "Lokasi" = "location"
2) "Mobil Tangki Tinja" = "Septic Tank Car"
3) "Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum" = "Regional Drinking Water Company"

(This portion of Sashimi Street is brought to you by the letter E and W.)


Steal our Valentine's gift ideas for your holiday cheers! ("I can't believe how cheap you are!" is an eligible cheer in some countries.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Drop Of Good News

Ah, just when I thought the the blog was going to be lonely for sometime. This came up.

Man, just found out that you're nominated for Best Indonesian Weblog for the Asian Blog Awards 2004, congrats!!! I am sooo voting for you. It's funny though, you're the only real indonesian nominated (the others except for deliciously disgusting are expats). You should spread the word in a post so everyone can vote for you!
Thanks for notifying, mil. I can only add few words... please don't vote me because of nationality or patriotism.
Vote me because I'm begging you. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease. I hope this is degrading enough.

No, seriously, I would like to honor Jakartass. He's the one who nominated me, even though that may harm his chance. And that shows how he's above this kind of competition. Which is why I'm voting for him.

For all bloggers, I hope this is not going to be a popularity contest. But instead, a medium for appreciation. And for those who appreciate my writings, I thank you.

While for those who don't, may I interest you in sampling this new eau de toilette?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Saksikan Peluncuran Buku...

...Bertanya atau Mati!

Hari Minggu, tanggal 19 Desember 2004 (sehari setelah Dago Festival), jangan ke mana-mana dulu! Nikmati campuran antara pertunjukan komedi dan talkshow ngocol di Comedy House Bandung (cabang dari Comedy Cafe' Jakarta), Dago Plaza lantai dasar (UG), Jl. Ir. H. Juanda 61-63.

Acara mulai jam tiga sore, pas buat kamu yang beres istirahat setelah Dago Festival atau habis belanja. Dapatkan juga doorprize menarik bagi Kamu yang beruntung!

Kerjasama antara PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Comedy Cafe', dan B Radio, kami menjanjikan satu hal: makna lain untuk istilah "peluncuran buku"!


Jangan sampai kelewatan hal-hal asyik! Kunjungi spot B Radio dan Comedy Cafe' di lintas bawah Jalan Dago. Saksikan berbagai pentas komedi. Ikuti juga games-games adu ketangkasan atau nyali dan dapatkan buku BaM gratis bagi Kamu yang beruntung!

Gagal dapat gratisan? Nyante aja. BaM juga dijual di stand ZOE Bookstore. Atau tinggal datangi peluncuran buku besoknya di Comedy House Bandung!


Kalau Kamu sudah punya "Bertanya atau Mati!", jangan luputkan kesempatan untuk membuat buku kamu jadi eksklusif seperti di bawah ini.

Dengan label "Autographed Copy" dan ditandatangani langsung oleh penulis BaM, Isman H. Suryaman. Hanya saat peluncuran buku!

Jangan lupa: BaM dicetak di kertas berkualitas trade paperback. Lebih tahan lama dibandingkan kertas mass paperback atau kertas koran yang cepat menguning. Sampul buku menggunakan laminasi dove dan UV Spot pada logo tanda tanya. Dengan tambahan label serta tanda tangan, akan lengkap menjadi koleksi Kamu yang bernilai tinggi.

Hanya tersedia 100 label. Jangan sia-siakan kesempatan terbatas ini! Datang ke peluncuran buku BaM!

Belum punya BaM? Jangan khawatir! Kamu dapat membeli langsung di tempat peluncuran, Comedy House, Dago Plaza lantai dasar, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda 61-63.

Bertanya atau Mati On...

...Female Radio!

Isman had a sudden reunion when he found out that Female Radio's Arletta Dhanisworo (Letta) was his highschool senior. Fortunately, both are in the age when they can laugh about old times without having to trade old-age prescription.

The one-hour show featured what the book is all about ("Inviting readers to think and laugh about small things," replied Isman) and how BaM was conceived ("I didn't use contraception.") And, of course, the one question every listeners want to ask: "Do you give away free copies?" ("Uhh... yes--OH MY GOD! THEY'RE CHARGING HERE! HEEELP!")

Letta and Isman were having a contest on showing the widest grin. Letta won with a landslide. Unfortunately, Isman held the giveaway prizes. So the vote went to him.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Practice Safe Sex!

Always use your Korean neighbor!


...Follow those drops of urine!


...for some days. For good reason, fortunately. Because I'm preparing the long overdue book launch for BaM!.

Yes, there will be a book launch. The complete details will be in the next post. And it will be in Bahasa. Yay! Now, please excuse me to compose it before I fall asleep on this keyboard.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

If You're Thinking Of Committing A Suicide...

...and want to get some help right now; please press '1'."


"Kok Putusin Gue?" -- a story about how a girl discovering what she really wants in a relationship, after she lost it.

"Gege Mengejar Cinta" -- Gege, a young man looking for love, who -- thanks to the author's wacky mind -- finds trouble instead.

Available NOW in major bookstores.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Get A (Rest)room, People!

A landmark bridge in Sumatra may collapse because too many locals have been urinating on one of the steel pillars.

(Thanks to Rika.)


...when you've gone Hollywood, you'll stop stomping on buildings and people.

(Thanks to Meta)


Worth quoting:

Last week Saturday I have bought mn, the battery was then 50%. And are the phone immediately will use. Firstly ff take part in of course, all menus descend in short everything try. Sunday everything about a have adjusted. Copy of sim done, but that goes never such as you has wants, therefore home nr's, 06 nr's, nr's business, e-mail under one name, thus the iig on sim did not stand. Blades by means of infra-red sent. Infra-red has I many on, on provided cd, the tools ginstalled, but after one our I got always no connection with the gsm., however, blades and tones, by means of right mouse, send to.. But not the sync software, until now succeeded (further effort also no more done) but well, much flow do not consume that day; -) .
"Much flow do not consume that day" sounds like something wise to say. In a funeral, for instance. Somebody sobbed, "Why does he have to die so young?"

Somebody else patted the person's shoulder, "Much flow do not consume that day."

(Thanks to Veriyanta.)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Today's Philosophical Question

What's making love gotta do with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks?


Health Care Careers

Can you believe
this isn't her first time?

would you like a government grant
...On these 3 conditions isman

Your credit card debt is a FRAUD!
Claim your Complimentary New Playstation 2
you can make some extra cash

How much is your car
worth on trade-in?

The easy way
to get an auto loan
Meet sexy singles
in your area

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

No More Fun This Year's End!

Actual AP headlines: Santa Banned from Skydiving by Disneyland

Worth quoting:

Last year, Santa arrived in a fire truck.
Here's another: Snow White Fired for Posing Nude

Worth quoting:
Dresden's mayor and others who miss her performance are asking that she be reinstated.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The "What The Hell Is It?" Quiz #1

A recent public service announcement (PSA) endorses Indonesians to do three things to a certain object:
- Check it
- Feel it
- Inspect it under a strong source of light

What is this object? (The REAL answer will be on the Monday update.)


  1. Silk underwear.
    --Ads Addict

  2. Condom.
    --melonhater & lei

  3. Godzilla.

  4. Our spouse.

  5. Glow-in-the-dark fish chip.

  6. Doo.

  7. Urine.

  8. Our brains. Because sometimes our actions show that they may be out of order.


Money. As suggested by meta and nugi.

The government's trying to urge Indonesians to be more vigilant against counterfeit money. The PSA even sloganizes the above instructions as "3D", which stands for "Dilihat, Diraba, Diterawang." If that raises a brow or two, wait until you hear them sing it.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Godzilla Has Left Levelled The Building

One of the local TV station's been airing Godzilla movies everyday. Suddenly, I'm nine year old again.

To me, Godzilla is the thing. There's no other thing. Not even The Thing or The Swamp Thing. Godzilla's the thing.

Reason #1: UNGCC. United Nation's Godzilla Control Center. No other single living being has a UN organization devoted to its countermeasures (except for George W. Bush).

Reason #2: Godzilla is one bad mother who doesn't care about dental hygiene. He has this atomic flame breath that incinerates everything in its path. Try persuading him into using a breath spray.

And I just feel for him. I mean, if Big G ever wanted to make amends, he couldn't. He greeted from the sea, "Yo, wassup people!" Fifty foot tsunami hit the town. He burped, buildings were washed away in flames. "Sorry, did I do that?" He asked for forgiveness but armies replied with missiles.

All he needs is an intelligent conversation. So here's what you can do. Below is his bio. Anybody interested just give him a buzz. Or drop an atom bomb. He'll wreck your town (or what's left of it) in no time.


Name: Godzilla, aka King of Monsters, aka Gojira, aka Big G.

Age: 50 years

Sex: No, but I have a child

Destroying Tokyo, Stomping Tokyo, and Incinerating Tokyo.

Interested in Meeting:
Activity Partners (see Hobbies).

Question That You Always Want to Ask:
Why the hell do these people keep staying in Tokyo?

Retirement Plan:
People assume I'd love to build my own demolition company,"Godzilla and Co." Cute. But what I really wanna be is a real estate agent.


What does "G" in "Kenny G" stand for? Have you ever seen Godzilla and Kenny G together? You don't say...

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Attention, Women!

Some men just won't understand why they should order their stuff by category.

You may want to put toiletries on the same table, while food utensils on another. But these men don't. They want to put things where they can reach them easily. Screw categories.

Here's the exhibit A I got from my recent visit to a friend's boarding house yesterday.

Sugar, insect repellant, deodorant stick, and margarine. Providing every combination of seasoning, pest (or unwanted guest) control, anti body odor, and bread spread.

When visiting these men, please speak clearly to any inquiries, like, "How would you like your tea?" It may provide a BIG difference. Such as between giving the taste of sweetness and death.

Friday, November 19, 2004

You Can Tell

While hanging out with the rest of the BBVers yesterday, we decided to do a little photographic experiment. We'd take pictures of different people with one same element: holding the four-month-old Aza. Would the results yield different stories?

Apparently they do. Here are what we think the snapshots say.

"I just had one drink too many and..."

"If you want your baby back..."

"I hope those guys washed their hands first."

"Was that the baby or do I have to slap you?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

What Magazines You Buy Defines You

I've realized this after I stopped buying Men's Health and turned to AyahBunda (literally: FatherMother) instead. Maybe after growing flabs for the last year, I surrendered. I couldn't associate myself anymore with six-packs. And I start finding solace in looking at pictures of people with bigger tummies than mine.

"But those people are pregnant," said my partner, Donna. You can always count on your life partner to ruin your self-justification.

"Details," answered defiant me.


But I know she's got a point. I shouldn't be making excuses to myself. You don't make excuses to a close friend. And if I weren't my own closest friend, well, I would've felt lonely most of the time.


Not that feeling lonely is a bad thing. It's the "most of the time" part. Eating isn't a bad thing. When you eat most of the time. It's bad.

"Most of the time" is the Mother of All Warning Signals. Always be wary of somebody who says something, then adds "most of the time."

Let's say Indonesia were at war. Our president showed up on TV and said, "Victory is imminent! We've crushed our foes in air, land, and sea battles!" He coughed and mumbled, "Most of the time." That would've been the cue to run like hell to the bomb shelter.


Find a random newspaper headline. Make sure it's a positive and upbeat statement. Add "Most of the Time" and watch it dawn bad omen in your mind.


  • "Study Finds Cancer Cure That Works! (Most of the Time)"
  • "'Cellphone Is Safe for Your Ears (Most of the Time)'"
  • "Bandung Strives to be A Clean City (Most of the Time)"
Works better than a cracked mirror. Most of the time.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

NASA Will Cease Space-Exploring Starting Today

Because they'll focus on...

...more important matters.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Eidul Fitri's Card Ideas

This year, why not make a well-wishing card that looks like a ransom note?

Suggestion #1:

(Front copy)
We've got your forgiveness.

(Inside body copy)
You want it, dress well this Eidul Fitri.
Prepare some ketupat. And we'll contact you.
Remember: no porks.

Suggestion #2:
(Front copy)
We know where you work.
We know where you live.
We know where you're going to celebrate Eidul Fitri.

(Inside body copy)
So let bygones be bygones, eh?
You shake my hands, I'll shake yours.

Suggestion #3 from lei:
(Front copy)
To err is human.
To forgive is divine.

(Inside body copy)
I know you're just human
And people say I'm divine.
Go figure.

Suggestion #4 from lei
(Front copy)
Meeting you in person: once
Trading SMS: sometimes
Forwarding junk mails: always

(Inside body copy)
So don't complain if you only receive this once a year.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

This Indonesian Should've Gotten a Nobel Prize...

...for getting the word "tahi" (meaning: dung) on the screen of Shortshorts Film Festival Asia (SSFFA 2004).

Apparently, the SSFFA invites Wahyu Aditya to enter his seven-minute animation, "Tahi Sapi atau Bukan?"(1) He'll have a two-day chance from October 29th to show whether this cow dung is up to snuff.

Worth quoting:

"In the meantime, I represent Indonesia in Japan for cow dung. With Allah's will, next time I'll come up with something better..."
--Wahyu Aditya
As long as it's not bullshit.


...includes teaching morals from an animation about dog poo. I envy them.

(Thanks to geekgirl.)


(1): Literally: "[Is it] Cow Dung or Not?"

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

When Things Get Tough, The Tough...

...produces humorous food labels.

Above is the actual label for "Abon Crismon", which apparently went into production back in late 90's. "Crismon" is our abbreviation of "Crisis" and "Monetary", marking the period when our currency, rupiah, started to plummet to less than a quarter of its worth.

While Abon is a traditional food based on meat (mostly beef, chicken, or fish). The process in some ways is similar to making a jerky; first you caress the meat tenderly, then you whisper proverbial sweet nothings to the ear, and--NO, sorry, wrong process! You boil the meat, tear it apart to tiny little slices, mix them with more spices than Geri Halliwel, and then keep them fried until they dry out. The result is a brownish, soft, cotton-like food with a sweet smell. Put a spoonful in your mouth and the various spices meet different parts of your tongue, giving you a rich taste to explore.

(Yes. I'm fasting. And it's getting on to me.)

Back to the label, let's take a deeper look at the description.

Loosely translated, the top description says, "Made from the meat of healthy cows, this abon is perfect for these crisis-filled times, just pick a handful, mix with rice, bread, or porridge, it'll surely taste great. Life may be hard, but never pass such a delight."

While the bottom one states, "Note:
  1. Not recommended for vegetarians.
  2. Upon running out, don't hesitate to buy more.
  3. Don't throw away this label, it may be a good trinket when our condition returns to normal."
It's always nice to discover that, when faced by a crisis of economical proportion, someone was able to keep her/his sense of humor.

(The actual label above was sent by Affi. Many thanks!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Advertising Has Landed...

...on the men's room.

Wizmark (R) may be the only advertising product that displays message and --optionally--plays a recorded message upon getting pissed. Excuse the pun.

Worth quoting:

"The new interactive urinal communicator from Wizmark enables CMT to target a very captive and vulnerable audience..," said James Hitchcok, vice president of marketing at CMT.

Monday, October 18, 2004

How To Think Positive: Step One

Move to China.

Worth quoting:

"The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year."
(Thanks to Veriyanta Kusuma.)


...Eid Fitri lacks publicity.

(A thought by Big Brother Ray.)

Friday, October 15, 2004

How Do You Spell "Copyright Infringements"?

6-6-2 M-O-B or P-D-I-P?

(Thanks to Wahyudi Pratama).


("Rumah" is Bahasa for "House")

Before buying this "house," remember to check whether it has any "window," "door" or "roof."


Thanks to yulian, santi, bhiima and estalia.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

This Sign Brings A New Definition For...

..."Eau de toilette." (In English, the sign above "Toilet" means "Perfume Refill.")

Monday, October 04, 2004

Spreading The BaM! Virus

As a part of Spreading the BaM! Virus Campaign, I rewrote a certain part of the book to fit into a short mail. So people could just forward it to their friends. The original intention being people will see the credits toward BaM! and the link to this blog. This, theoretically, should spark readers' interests in clicking.

----begin forwardable message----

Untuk rekan-rekan yang perlu kepastian kapan kira-kira seharusnya kita mulai mengatur berat badan. Di bawah ini ada dua macam rambu yang bisa kita perhatikan: Kuning (Hati-hati) dan Merah (Uh oh!).


  1. Jika Anda sudah menikah dan cincin pernikahan mulai sulit dilepaskan dari jari manis Anda.
  2. Saat tujuhbelas Agustusan, Anda menjadi peserta yang dicari-cari untuk bagian paling belakang di perlombaan tarik tambang antar RT.
  3. Teman kerja Anda mulai menyarankan agar Anda menggunakan tangga, dan bukan lift.
  4. Sepatu Anda kekecilan semua dan Nike Air Anda kempes.
  5. Setiap Anda naik angkutan umum, kenek meminta ongkos untuk dua orang.
  6. Anda harus jongkok dan mengambil ancang-ancang dulu sebelum melompat.
  7. Saat Anda mencoba timbangan koin elektronis, ia berkata agar naik ke timbangannya satu-satu, jangan duaan atau lebih.
  8. Setiap Anda melompat masuk kolam renang, terjadi ombak lokal yang cukup dahsyat.
  9. Anda terpaksa beli ikat pinggang baru karena kehabisan tempat untuk bikin lubang lagi.
  10. Satu-satunya cara agar Anda bisa menghemat biaya makan di luar adalah dengan mendatangi restoran all-you-can-eat.
  11. Dokter internis Anda menyarankan untuk menurunkan berat badan, demi kesehatan Anda.


  1. Cincin pernikahan sudah tak bisa dilepaskan dari jari kelingking Anda, kecuali dengan las atau amputasi.
  2. Begitu mengetahui Anda juga mengikuti lomba makan kerupuk, semua peserta lain mengundurkan diri.
  3. Alarm lift yang Anda naiki protes keberatan, padahal Anda sendirian.
  4. Anda lupa nomor sepatu Anda karena sudah lebih dari setahun tidak bisa melihat kaki sendiri. Anda bahkan tidak yakin sudah mengenakan sepatu atau belum.
  5. Saat Anda bergerak menuju angkutan umum kosong yang sedang ngetem, mobilnya malah kabur.
  6. Setiap Anda mengambil ancang-ancang mau melompat, semua orang di sekitar langsung tiarap.
  7. Saat Anda mencoba timbangan koin elektronis, uang Anda dimuntahkan.
  8. Pengurus kolam renang langganan Anda menyesuaikan jadwal menguras kolam dengan kedatangan Anda.
  9. Penjual ikat pinggang mulai menawarkan tali tambang.
  10. Anda mau memasuki restoran all-you-can-eat dan tempatnya langsung tutup.
  11. Bahkan dokter mata Anda pun menyarankan untuk menurunkan berat badan, demi keselamatan dunia.

Dikutip dari buku humor "Bertanya atau Mati! (BaM!)" terbitan Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
----end forwardable message----

However, I underestimated the power-hunger of Indonesian mail-forwarders. I sent the original mail to a particular mailing list on September 27th. And two days after that, somebody had already sent it to another mailing list... with every credits and trace to this blog or BaM! deleted.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

It's All About Love

Last night I was treated to the fanciest home-cooked meal every couple can have: junk-food home delivery. Not that I'm complaining. In front of me were a couple of chicken breasts designed so well to make your mouth water, your cholesterol skyrocket, and your arteries clogged. So I poured over the tomato sauce, bit a chunk out of the fatty-fried chicken, and stopped when I heard Donna from the bedroom.

"Look! Look! Aza's poop is thicker now!" she yelled.

"Cool!" I replied while chewing. "Tell me ALL about it while I EAT!"

Donna appeared from the bedroom, across the dinner table. With a mock indignant face. "But isn't marriage all about sharing?"

"Sure," I nodded. "I'll let you know when I fart later."

"You don't have to," she grinned. "I can easily notice the trail of dead mosquitos leading to your butt."

Any other questions why I love her so much?


I once attended yet another MS Power Point-based presentation. It was a lengthy, boring presentation filled with bulleted points. Until one point when the speaker said, "These are some of our past IT projects." He then clicked a button and there it was, the title on the large screen: "Fort Polio."


Try to get out of this blue room without feeling the need to blast everyone around with a shotgun.

After about five minutes, relieve your stress with this. Aaaah... doesn't that feel good?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Update: First...

...I want to say that human curiousity can really drive you to do things beyond your normal boundaries.

And second, I've already confirmed: baby poop DEFINITELY does NOT smell like sugar!

(No thanks to Ine and Affi for the push on my back.)


Aza (3 month of age): (Pooping with the sound of a muffled shotgun)

Me: WHOA! Now that was loud.

Donna (my partner in life): (chuckles) I bet Aza feels relieved. (Places Aza on the baby matress) You know what?

Me: (Getting the baby powder, baby wipes, and a clean diaper) What?

Donna: This article says that during the period of three to six months, the baby's poo will smell like sugar. (Taking Aza's pants off)

Me: Like hell it would.

Donna: Why not?

Me: How can it be?

Donna: (Raises brows) Aren't you the person who wrote a book dissing rhetorical questions?

Me: You just popped one. (Pauses) You're saying I should check it out before making a judgement?

Donna: No. YOU are saying--in YOUR book--that we should check AND re-check.

Me: (Shrugs) Okay, enough with the capitals, already. I'll do it! (Opens the soiled diaper)

(Stares at the spoils of war...

Uhm, on second thought... I think we should respect the writer's credibility.

Thank you for 366 days (and counting) of loving. It's been and hopefully always will be an enlighting ride, full of laughters.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Today's Indika Interview Highlight

"I just want to say one thing first; you're one crazy dude."

--Ivy Batuta


You know what, you should be glad that your book shows up in so many different categories. You'll get broad and diversed readers. Aaand.. you'll also get critiques from Phsycologist and Teenagers (although you might need to use your truth serum this time).
Freudian Psychologist: "Well, reading BaM, you can definitely make a conclusion that the author didn't have a happy childhood. You can see that he has a deep hatred for the Peuyeum seller who wouldnt sell the rocking-horses at a cheap price to his mom, thus causing his mom NOT to buy the rocking horses he wanted badly.."

Teenager:"Plis dong ah, BaM gitu lho. Siapa sih yg gak suka. Cover nya dong... Covernya. Keren bgt gitu lho.. Oren Bo. Matching sama kuku gw.."



Gramedia Bintaro puts BaM! among teenage novels and pocketbooks. While Ambas Mall's Office 2000 categorizes BaM! under "Religion." Thou shalt buyeth this book!

(Thanks to cici and mbot.)


Gramedia Depok places BaM! on the Humor section. Although as durin succinctly put, "People who need modern psychology will miss it a lot."

(Thanks to metty.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Another BaM! Review

This one's by Iya. Like I said in the book, it's always nice to know what people think about the book without having to resort to truth serum.


...BaM! has been sold out at Cilandak's Kharisma (not Gramedia).

(Thanks to serenity for the info, and thanks to everyone who makes it happen.)


...somebody is interested in the 20% discount.


Available during Pesta Buku Gramedia Pustaka Utama (GPU) at Bentara Budaya Jakarta, Jl. Palmerah Selatan 17.

Only valid till September 26th, 2004.


..."How could you hear that awful music! It sounds as if the singer's a parrot!"

Well, he's right.


...helps me move forward! (For the record of 73 meters.)

(Thanks to Andy PS).

Friday, September 17, 2004

Today's Literature Gold Award Goes To...

...Haiku Movie Reviews.

Worth quoting:

Thinking I'd sit through
another Ashley Judd flick:
that is Twisted.

Killer aliens?!?
The most shocking thing is this:
Will Smith can act! BOOM!


Moral of this tool: If you can't go out and have fun, at least play the puzzle version and feel silly about it.


The Amazing Flygun.

This spring-powered gun fires a fly swat at high speed. Just aim at a nearby fly and squeeze. A great solution for couples having a heated argument: giving a common enemy. And we're not talking about in laws.

Girl: I can't believe you're such an insensitive jerk!
Guy: Well, you're not very flattering yourself.
Girl: Okay that's it! I'm go--THERE'S A FLY AT YOUR 2 O'CLOCK!


Guy: Oh... thanks. I don't know what would happen without you, dear.
Girl: I know you'll do the same thing for me.
Guy&Girl: (kiss and make up)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Welcome To The Land Of Double Meaning!

My close friends, my partner and I went to Ciwalk last week. Ciwalk stands for Cihampelas Walk, yet another proof of Indonesian tendency of abbreviating things. But that's another story. We had lunch in Platinum, a place that sports positive slogans on their windows, such as "Customer First" and "Pro-active." The attendant greeted us with a warm smile.

Then she let us wait for twenty minutes before we get a seat.

Afterwards, the waiters managed to dodge our calling them for another ten minutes. I was in the middle of writing this on the order checklist;

"Dear Sirs & Madams... we are starving. We've tried to get your attention for too long that we've decided to mail this order instead through PT. P--"
A waiter interrupted me with great timing, "May I take your order?"

At this point, we've finally understood that the slogans were open for definition. Such as: "Pro-active: In other words, self-serving." Or, "Customer First... Good Service Later."

Needless to say, the food also came a bit late. The meal was quite delicious, though. Kinda made us feel sorry we had already eaten the waiter.


America gains another point for inventions such as The Toilet Landing Lights. The only thing missing would be a little guy flagging you to the target.

"But these inventions are laughable!" you may protest. Well, yes. But they're much cooler than none at all.

That settles it! America now leads with... uhm... I lost count. So we'll have to resort to the formal method frequently used by our government: just make it up. To make it interesting, let's say 194 - 193. Indonesia is only one point behind! The drama! The suspense! It's so thrilling, I need to go to the bathroom. Hopefully, I won't need a guidance.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Update: Interview Postponed

Since Indika FM's going to celebrate its anniversary this Friday, some of the regular programs are rescheduled. This includes Insight with Gramedia, which would be held the next Friday (September 24th).


...involves guessing about facts that we know little about. Sounds like marketing department to me.

(Thanks to Veriy.)

BIG HEARTY THANKS... Adhit, meta, cepi, reney, risna and snydez for spreading the BaM! virus.


"They accused us of suppressing freedom of expression.
This was a lie and we could not let them publish it.
--Nelba Blandon, Nicaraguan Interior Ministry Director of Censorship


Indika FM Jakarta (91.60 FM) schedules a phone interview(1) about BaM! this Friday (September 17th) at 9.15 AM. Still tentative(2), but hey, it's a start. Indika FM has this joint program called "Insight with Gramedia," a 30-minute session to review and talk about a certain book that may appeal to their listeners. BaM! fits quite nicely to the picture.

(1): Which means, I could prolly attend it while doing the number two without the listeners noticing. Unless I can't keep it down.
(2): Latin for "don't hold your breath."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Update Update: Come Back In Two Years

Out of the comment box, here's what vonEbenhaum wrote (Note: the original comment was somehow lost, so this was written from my memory--which is as reliable as a BMW who's been shot by a tank).

Good point, although the people here share the peculiar perception about my homeland.

RedCross Guy: Would you care to donor your blood?
Me: Sure! I've been a regular donor back in my country. *sits down*
RedCross Guy: Great! Just roll up your sleeves. So where's your country anyway?
Me: Indonesia. *rolls up sleeve*
RedCross Guy: Uhh...
Me: Anything wrong?
RedCross Guy: Well, we can't take your blood.
Me: How come?
RedCross Guy: You see, Indonesia is a backwater country with a lot of diseases like dengue fever, malaria, and such.
Me: Uhm...
RedCross Guy: Tell you what... come back in 2 years. If you're still healthy by then, it means you're not infected. So it's safe to donor your blood.
Back to lesson #3 for me...

  1. Feeling safe and secure is a luxury we often take for granted.
  2. Sometimes it's hard to fathom how some people think outside the "norm" that we believe in, such as "to kill people (that aren't necessarily related to your cause)--even for a good cause--is wrong."
  3. We hate feeling helpless.
  4. Anger and fear normally engulf us everytime there's a tragedy that slap lesson #1, #2 and #3 at our face.
  5. Succumbing to anger is easy, but #3 stays no matter how hard our fingers pointed or our accussations screamed.
  6. It takes smaller feats to seize control over #3: donating your blood at the nearest Red Cross post is one. Showing (in your own way) that there's another side to Indonesia that embrace love and intelligent behavior, is another; that no matter how much it hurts, you don't let anger overcomes your love.


Click here and recite the full sentence(s) to your [would-be] partner. Hint: keep a straight face.

Today's compliment:
Cry for the stiffness of the earlobe. The turtles are fallen and the rain stands still. How long must I suffer with your undergarments?
With codes like these, who needs Shakespeare?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Modern Psychology Nowadays...

An edited session of my online conversation with another dear friend.

Alex: Bought your book, bro.
Me: Cool! Where?
Alex: Gramedia Bogor. It was sold out.
Me: Sold out as in "THESE THINGS ARE HOT!" or "there weren't that many on display in the first place."
Alex: Whaddya mean "on display"? They practically hid the books on "Modern Psychology - Self Help" category.
Me: Nice to know the bookstore is as anxious as me.
Alex: There's another thing.
Me: What?
Alex: There's this BIG book which is 1.5 thicker than yours, titled, "Guide on Using Yahoo and Hotmail."
Me: Modern Psychology indeed.


Danu, a dear friend, tried to search for BaM! at Blok M's Gramedia. He asked an employee for help. Mistaking the back cover as the front one, he said that the cover was green.

After some time, they finally found the book. And the employee complained, "What did you mean, the [front] cover's GREEN? It's definitely PINK!"


Here's what a guy (whom I suspect is a male Surabayan, but I could be wrong) wrote to me:
"It's not a mindless thing. I believe your book is on that category because we [Surabayans] also consider politic as a laughing matter."


For those who haven't read it, "BaM!" is a humor book that pokes fun at ourselves. One in particular is the habit of doing things mindlessly.

And last night, pip just SMSed me, informing this news flash: "...your book was put on the political section! Right between "Geliat Irak Pasca Saddam" and "Political Marketing: Strategi Memenangkan Pemilu."

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call an irony.

On a side note: A co-worker bought a copy without realizing that the writer works on the same building. (And who says "office socialization" is not an oxymoron, eh?)


It's official! After Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya, BaM! is now available in Palembang Gramedia bookstores, categorized under "New Release."

(Thanks to Faris Syauki, pip and snydez.)


A relative reported that she overheard a Bandung's radio station discussing "BaM!" yesterday morning (August 31st). However, the radio was on somebody else's car, which then took off before she could recognize the station. Any Bandungers happened to listen about it? Any enlightenment would be appreciated.

Please report any other sightings to this post.
Any comment or feedback about the book? Feel free to mail me at a_scriptwriter at yahoo dot com, or at this post.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Caution: Shameless Self-Promotion Starts Today


Buku Humor + Inspirasional?
Kenapa tidak? Bertanya atau Mati! (BaM!) adalah buku humor yang menawarkan lebih dari sekedar kelucuan.

"Baca buku ini seperti bercermin ke diri sendiri. Gue jadi bisa sadar dan intropeksi, tapi bukan berarti bukunya berat. Caranya lucu dan nggak perlu mengerutkan kening."
--Arie Dagienkz

Sebagai mantan pengejar bus kota profesional, kuli kantoran biasa, dan seorang paman berpengalaman, Isman mengungkapkan sisi lain dari beragam topik kehidupan sehari-hari. Dari cara menghubungkan peuyeum dengan kentongan hingga merancang pernikahan agar tidak terancam bahaya angin puyuh, pengarang ini membuktikan bahwa hidup dapat lebih bermakna -- dengan mempertanyakan hal-hal yang cenderung dianggap remeh, seperti:
  • Apa artinya jika anjing Anda mulai menyanyi Nessun Dorma?
  • Di manakah hubungan telepati paling mudah terjalin dalam acara pernikahan?
  • Kapankah kita perlu menurunkan berat badan demi keselamatan dunia?
  • Bagaimana bayi 21 bulan dapat menjadi kandidat presiden yang andal?
  • Dan mengapa wanita bugil yang beterbangan di mana-mana dapat memajukan ilmu pengetahuan dengan pesat?

"...ini gebrakan baru banget buat buku-buku di Indonesia. As far as I know, nobody ever made something like this so far. Lucu, tapi non-fiktif dan tanpa adegan slapstick, itu yang bikin beda."
-—Ndari Utoyo, Mahasiswi

BaM! mencoba membangkitkan kembali humor tulisan Indonesia yang merangsang Anda untuk bermain dengan otak Anda; humor yang universal, dan dapat menembus batas gender,...

"Gila! Baca aja sendiri."
—-Eric Natanael, Strategy consultant

"Judulnya bikin penasaran. Sekali baca susah berhenti. Isinya komplit seperti resep masakan. Tapi kok resep masakannya sendiri malah nggak ada?"
—-Titiek Onang, Nenek rumah tangga

...latar belakang,...

"Kalau [BaM!] dibaca untuk hiburan, lucu. Tapi kalau dibaca serius, bisa mengajarkan kita untuk memandang sesuatu dari arah yang lain."
—-Arga Aridarma, Pengusaha

"Judging from his way of criticizing the Bowlingual, I was so amazed that [his] work has modest wits, [with] penetrating insight through the every sentence. Even [though] he treats [something] critically, there is a lot of love, humor, and consideration."
—-Nina Higa, Japanese mother of three: twin boys and a female rabbit

...maupun spesies.

—-Popox, Kucing pemerhati humor

...Asalkan Anda termasuk orang-orang yang dapat menertawakan diri sendiri.

"[Membaca buku ini] Seperti menyaksikan gerhana matahari. Indah, langka, dan hanya yang mengerti yang bisa menikmati. Pengarang memiliki pemahaman yang lumayan dalam terhadap segala sesuatu di sekitarnya. Dan ini pendapat yang sangat objektif!"
—-Primadonna Angela, Istri Pengarang (yang euhm… objektif)

Tunggu kehadiran BaM! di toko buku Gramedia terdekat pada minggu kedua September 2004!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Book Update Update: Self-Help And Inspirational?

I guess the site doesn't have a Humor category.

(Note: The schedule stands. The books will prolly hit the shelves in two or three weeks. Circulation issues.)


Some genius put Bill Cosby's book, "I am What I Eat," under Architecture-->Textbook.


The final proof has entered the printing queue since fourteen days ago. Assuming that no meteor falls on the printing company, the book may be ready to hit the stores in the middle of September 2004.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Things I Learnt While Raising A Baby

Raising a baby makes you learn a lot about your relationship with your partner that otherwise wouldn't surface. Here are some that I learnt (for the last 26 days):

  1. No matter how much I love Donna, I will reflexively dodge a sudden piss shower and therefore letting her catch it head on.
  2. Donna takes number (1) gracefully. Now she makes sure she holds me from the back before changing Aza's diaper so I can't escape.
  3. Witnessing your male partner changing diapers in the middle of the night is as sexy as watching your female partner breastfeeding. In a good way.
  4. Exception in diaper-changing: see number (1).
(Inspired by a recent conversation with Affi.)


...for Stupidity.

A guy tried to pickpocket someone at the airport. Nothing new. The difference is, this someone happened to be Taufik Hidayat, the sole Olympic gold medalist from Indonesia, and was just getting a huge welcome from the masses.

Needless to say, the thief got caught and pummeled.

(Thanks to Wahyudi Pratama).

Monday, August 16, 2004

Fasten Your Seat Belt!

In Indonesia, speed bump is called "polisi tidur" or in English: sleeping policeman.(1) And many Indonesian drivers don't slow down on driving over these bumps. Some even speed up and ram them with glee.

Don't ask how we feel about our traffic policeperson.

1: Most probably originated from the British English term. Which kind of makes you think.


...Our fascination with dry armpits is bad. If that doesn't stop you, play the game to see how Pitman moves.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Update: More Real Life Examples

  1. (in a classroom presentation) "...Plicker Pree monitor."

  2. A sign in Bandung: "Tambal Van."

  3. "Pesva."
    --Submitted by vonEbenhaum

  4. "(when a guy being told to spell "SOFMA")...Sierra Oscar Papa Mama Alpha."
    --Submitted by Ndari


You encounter a lot of these...

The actual word is "infaq," a Muslim term for a certain kind of donation.

Should've been "Puding," Bahasa for (surprise!) "pudding."


...when it comes to punctuation?

Try the Eats, Shoots and Leaves Punctuation Game (requires Flash). Or the more serious Punctuation Test (click the Test menu on the left frame).

Monday, August 02, 2004

Why Indonesian Marriages Are Both Cumbersome And Beautiful

So last Sunday Donna and I attended the wedding vow recital and ceremony of our dear friends: Lei and Niang. The former event was scheduled at nine AM. We arrived at 9.15 AM sharp because, being Indonesians, we share a very timely sense of tardiness.

Lei and Niang's Muslim wedding was held traditionally. Which means:

  • They had to invite so many people, most of whom they didn't (and probably still don't) even know.

  • They had to wear overpriced dress and suit that restricted their movement the way plaster restricted Egyptian mummies.

  • And there were more lighting and cameramen than in a rock performance.
As the event took place at Masjid Istiqamah, every guests had to take off their shoes and leave them outside, around the same spot that sported this sign:

Hati-hati Kehilangan
(Meaning: Beware theft!)

Talk about jumping on an emotional bandwagon.

Niang... remember the force of light!

At about 9:30, the groom looked ready, bathed in an overlight. Donna and I was so moved by this sight that we looked at each other's eyes.

She said, "I bet he won't be able to feel his legs afterwards."

"True, true...," I nodded emotionally.

Can I Buy a Vow, Please?

For those of you who're not familiar with Muslim wedding vow recital, this is the normal procedure:
  1. The father of the bride will say something like "I wed you, [name of groom, for instance Anonymus Maximus Son of Fictitious Nonexistantus], to my daughter [name of daughter for instance Igothe Longestname Inhistor Yofwedding Daughter of Secon Dlongestname], with the dowry of [list of things, such as a set of shalat equipment and 249,941 rupiahs worth in gold] paid in FULL!"

  2. The groom will interject with "I accept to be wedded with Igothe Longestname Inhistor Yofwedding Daughter of Secon Dlongestname Inhistor Yofwedding with the dowry of a set of shalat equipment and two hundred forty-nine thousand nine hundred forty-one rupiahs worth in gold paid in FULL!"

  3. He has to say that in ONE breath. Otherwise, back to step (1).
This is why many Muslim weddings take a long time. Some still haven't finished since 1911. There's much rejoice and many shedded tears after a successful wedding vow recital. Children who were previously five years old shout, "Finally! We can go outside again! Hey, look Ma! I've grown a beard!" "Good, now it's time for YOU to get married, then." "NOOOOOOOOO!"

We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

After the successful recital, the newlyweds were told to bow as a gesture of gratitude. Donna and I were kind of annoyed that we didn't get that chance in our wedding. I mean, there's no other occassion when you can practically point your butt towards the audience AND get away with it (without having to be a very good stripper, that is).

The Culinary Adventure Called "Wedding Reception"

There's one thing I respect about Indonesian weddings: we celebrate the birth of a new marriage couple by serving food that could clog your arteries to death. I'm not kidding. Observe...

Nothing but fat!

The sign on the above picture says "Nasi Lemak" which literally means "Fatty Rice." We don't lower ourselves by saying "Flavored Rice" or "High Calorie Dish" or any other euphemism. Oh, no... we tell like it is: rice with a whole wad of fat. And the guests don't think twice. They eat it. In BIG portion. If there were a stall with a sign that said, "NOTHING BUT FAT!" Indonesians would've still formed a line for it. And I use the word "line" in a very loose sense. Because a queue in Indonesia would look more like a Roman attack formation.

So anyway, a big hearty congratulation to Lei and Niang. May both of you blessed forever with love... and, for God's sake, stay away from Nasi Lemak.

Friday, July 30, 2004


A website that really knows how to Prepare for Emergencies. It provides helpful tips from disaster prevention techniques...

"Reduce fire hazards in your home. Children are the worst fire hazards; consider giving them up for adoption." plausible actions against Bad Events That Might Lead to Deaths, such as Alien Invasion:
"Negotiate using sign language, if possible. Failing that, and assuming they aren't armed with futuristic ray guns, run like hell."
(Thanks to Jakartass. Check here for background info on the above parody site.)


Signs when an expatriate's been living in Indonesia for too long #19:
"You're not surprised when three men with a ladder show up to change a light bulb"

(Taken from


Laminated cover: Dove or glossy?

Friday, July 23, 2004

28 July Update: Extreme Focus Group Testing

I decided to do a focus group testing. The idea is to get selective people to read the book so I would get a rough picture of how well would the book sell.

And the results were great! 50% of Readers LOVES the book. She loves it so much she won't mind marrying the author. While The Other 50% only looked at the manuscript with blank eyes, said "Eh. Eh. Eh." And then threw up. We'll just have to wait until The Other 50% has passed babyhood first.

Okay, so I was only able to get two people as testers. And their credibility is questionable.(1) But hey, there's no written manual that says it can't be done.(2)

But in the meantime, the results are clear: This book will place itself among its readers' hearts! (Hopefully not in the way a wooden stake does to a vampire.)

1: It'll go something like this...
Q: Are you credible?
A: Yes/Eh/(throws up).
Q: Okay, then.

2: Actually there was, but I fed it to The Other 50%.


Some days have passed without blogging because my book project's finally made a progress. Before you start calling the local authorities to scream "Book? How could you let this guy's thoughts come out in print!?" let me assure you by telling that it's a humor book. Okay, I see that doesn't stop you. Don't worry, you're not the only one.

Beginning since last year, the project's been going through what the Beatles called "the Long and Winding Road." Only one month in composition, the draft took three months of self-editing until I decided "That's enough!" There's no stop to feeding the self-critic. So I went to a certain publisher to sell it.

Like I said, it's a humor book. A collection of short essays where comedy is about life, observation and playful thoughts. So there goes the biggest challenge: the publisher's never handled this kind of book before. They were baffled. They didn't know the market value of this thing. However, they chose to believe in my writing. And I respect that.

But believing is one thing. Making it published is another thing. I had to help the marketers define what my target market would be. Thank God I'm a copywriter. Then after some hewing and huffing and occassional yawning, they figured my idea can sell. So I got a contract. This process already took months.

Then comes the editing part. This went on roughly at the start because my humor is influenced by Robert Benchley, Dave Barry, Dennis Miller, and Jerry Seinfeld. And the publisher's never read that kind of humor in Bahasa before. I don't blame them. I haven't either. The editing went on quite long that I managed to add some updates to the book. Some materials were even rewritten because they were getting old. More months passed.

After editing is the layout and setting. Again, I had to brief the person in charge because in humor, presentation is as important as the material. Even a sharp material, if presented badly, will bomb.

Between the process, there were events that held the project back. The publisher's anniversary, other BIG BOOKs launching, change of personnels, and so on. Then one day disaster struck. The setter had an accident that injured both of her hands. At this point, I finally got the point. There was absolutely a particular reason why I had to endure all this while many other writers have produced three books. I could choose to be angry. Depressed. Or even wallowing in self-pity. But I chose to proceed with my life.

Until the morning after the birth of Aza--the child of donna and me, when I received the call. The publisher told me they've finished the proof of my manuscript.

God does have a sense of humor. She has perfect timing and delivery. I had a hearty laugh that day.

The book may still have a long way to go to hit the shelves. But at least it's in progress. So stay tuned for updates!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The Bassinet Of Horrors

So you have a baby, congratulations! After a few days in the hospital, you get home in anticipation of happy days to come... and end up spending the night on the couch. Because you forgot to buy a baby bassinet.

So the next day you went out and buy one. Not just a bassinet. But a portable bassinet. With just a few adjustments, the salesperson said, you can turn the bassinet into a baby rocker. Therefore enabling your child to sleep in comfort of being rocked back and forth, with the possibility of being launched like a catapult missile. But it's all for the good of the baby, of course.

And not just that! With yet a few other adjustments, you can attach wheels. Which looks cool. Unless the bassinet's still in the baby rocker mode. Then it'll look stupid.

And after all that, there's the assembling part. Boy, would you love to take your hands on it. You've got parts. You've got tools. You've got the manual. What else is wrong?

Everything. For instance, my in-laws brought a portal bassinet to assemble at my home. There's a big print on the package that says, "Simple Assembling Needed!" and the manual says, "...even a teenager can do it."

After two hours, three guys with a bachelor degree and a college student decided that teenagers nowadays are geniuses. We also believe this explains pop culture. Some old people must've been inventing it to keep teenagers from studying and conquering the world.

We also decided that Aza (the name of our newborn baby) will be free of all that. That is, if he survives being thrown out of the rocker.

Saturday, July 10, 2004


When you just have a baby, there's this tremendous social pressure to
1) Believe how cute the baby is
2) Know who the baby looks like

So you'll get comments like "Oh! How cute! So who does he look like?" or, "A baby boy? Congrats! Does he look like you or your wife?" or the more direct one such as, "Awww...look, his jaw takes up the dad. And see the resemblance with the mother!"

This doesn't apply to, say, grandparents.

"Oh, so this is your grandpa?"
"Why, yes... a little shriveled up and delirious, but still kicking nonetheless. We just got him out of jail for mistaking a policeman as a tree, and himself as a territorial dog."
"Oh, how cute! I can see the resemblance."

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

No Offense, Doc...

...But my partner and I chose to find another gynaecologist with, uhm, well... better semantics.

(FYI: "Ahli Kebidanan dan Penyakit Kandungan" is Bahasa for "Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.")

Just so he won't sue us, we'll have to relay the information that the good Doctor Kingky is a well-known, respectable man in his profession. When my partner still at her five month pregnancy, many experienced mothers endorsed him. They said he's a great doctor and very helpful. Little did they know that the last statement actually made us think twice.

We also looked for a natal hospital near our residence. There's one just 2.5 kilometers away, but we decided against it. Because the plank says, and I quote: "Non-stop labor 24 hrs."

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Blogging Advisory: Parenthood Due

Blogging has been scarce, because this writer has just been a--God help us all--father of a healthy (physically, at least) baby boy. This writer has been looking forward to this day because, well, it's relatively harder to look backward. And he needs another snapshot model than cats.

On the other hand, when the baby found out that he was born into a family of writers, this was his reaction.


Our candidates now understand the concept of finding a unique trait of themselves to sell to their audience.

"Don't get confused, just vote for the prettiest one."
--Megawati Soekarnoputri, the only female presidential candidate

"We need to thoroughly scan the candidates [to find the one] to vote for. Aside of being honest, smart, religious, charismatic, and capable... having a moustache also matters."
--Jusuf Kalla, the only vice presidential candidate sporting a moutache
But of course, America has longer history in direct voting. We can see the fine example of it from here.

(Thanks to Ins.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Not Exactly A Clean Getaway

In Washington, three naked men raced through a Denny's restaurant last January 14th. That early morning streak was intended for a good clean fun. But the joke was on them. They watched in horror as somebody beat them into their getaway car and drove off. Along with their clothes.

They were forced to huddle nude in the cold weather until the police arrived.


1) They mistake "Open Marriage" as "Open for Marriage." Ditto for "Open Relationship." Which is why more than a few Indonesians proudly display either status.

2) i dOn'T kNOw hOW THey dO iT, bUT sOMe oF tHEm WrITe lIkE tHis. iT TOok mE aBout fIve MiNUtes to cOmpoSE tHeSe siMPle SeNTenCes, bUT ThEY cAN dO IT in--I dON'T kNOw--5 sEcOnds, PeRhAps?


iT's Not AS HarD as You ThinK. JUst bANg yoUr Head In tHE WalL tHaN CLosE YouR LEft eyE whIle YOu tyPE. ThAT's HOw WE do It! (off stop watch. 2 sec. yeah!)
--Sanity Inc.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Shake It!

For those who don't know, dangdut is the national folk music of Indonesia. Like reggae to Jamaica. Or country music to Texas. In many Indonesian festivities, you can see how dangdut manages to entertain the crowd.

And I use the word "entertain" in a very loosely way. Some people love to dance to rhythm. While I, maybe the few people who listen to the lyric for the entertainment. I'll take the example from a dangdut song I heard last week (roughly translated):

Shake your bootie!
Shake your bootie!
Shake your bootie,
That song should've won the Nobel prize by putting "bootie" and "solemn" on the same breath.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Today's Science Topic

Some time ago, scientists discovered an optical illusion that can trick people into not realizing how parts of their faces are actually upside down and look ugly. Coincidentally (or maybe not), it's called "The Margaret Thatcher Illusion."

Wonder what would these eager scientists discover next? The George W. Bush Illusion? The optical illusion of seeing weapons of mass destruction in any third-countries with profitable oil deposits.


"Don't close your eyes for the crash; you'll miss the best part"
--Bruce MacInnes, Skip Barber Driving School instructor

Friday, June 18, 2004

Attention, Indonesian News Writers!

This is how you should write a headline.


Too bad you can't use your coworkers' photos in this South Park studio.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Yeah, Yeah, You Spotted Some Mistakes... the movie Troy

Show it off someplace else.


Countless flicks, like Troy, portray how men spread conflicts of disastrous proportions over trifle reasons, some involving women or football matches ("Sorry, Julius... but you were offside." "WHAT!? TO WAR WITH THE GAULS!!"). To compensate for this stereotypical view, I must point out that men are not always so brutal and off-minded. No! Men also do things to promote peace and tranquility to the world. Things that embrace the nature.

Things such as this.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Missed A Few Movies... The Exorcist? Watch it in 30 seconds. (And reenacted by bunnies.)

If you like that, you might also enjoy The Lord of The Rings in 60 Seconds.


A food joint at the new Cihampelas Walk in Bandung sells "Black Paper Steak."

Monday, June 14, 2004

Presidential Election Update

I saw this campaign poster in a particular area of Bandung. It shouted the name of the candidates out loud, "Mega-Hasyim." Under which, someone scribbled, "Gesundheit."

Friday, June 11, 2004

Try The World's Second Smallest Political Quiz

Just click here.

Because the actual Smallest Pollitical Quiz would be more like this:
1. Are you political?
( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) Not sure
( ) Who cares?


Written on the Poppins' baby wear label:

The best thing are
the think we sell more
easy clothes
free style planning
(I'd hate to read about the worst thing.)
On a children's T-shirt:
Somewhere I blong
Bom in earth
(Sounds like a deathwish.)
On a baby shirt labeled Mickey&Donald:
Take on hat, wear the boat, and
shake the rape our funkiest style
is ready to go on !!!
(But of course, nobody will object someone who can wear a boat.)

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Toilet Humor Alert

If you don't care for alerts, click here.

Worth quoting:

(written on a men's restroom at the University of East Anglia)
Don't beam me up Scotty, I'm having a sh


This defines the saying, "The best place to hide your valuables in is a stained underwear."

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Presidential Election Update: Indonesia Is In Good Hands... long as the next president won't have to count.

Worth quoting:

"You can see how many wives I have in my CV," Hamzah said.
(Thanks to Veriyanta Kusuma.)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Names Update

Now I know I should forget expecting people to get my name right. Why? Let's just call it my Britney Spears sense.

(Thanks to Veriyanta Kusuma.)

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: The Movie Update

The official site now has a blog.

Produced by Jay Roach, the movie will feature Sam Rockwell as Zaphod, Mos Def as Ford Prefect, Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast, Warwick Davis as Marvin the Paranoid Android, and John Malkovich as the original character Humma Kavula.

For those who missed this classic, HHGG is a book that started as radio plays by the late Douglas Addams, a true wordsmith and master of satire.

Worth quoting from the original play:

Arthur Dent: You know, it's at times like this, when I'm stuck in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.

Ford Prefect: Why? What did she tell you?

Arthur: I don't know; I didn't listen.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Caption Writing Madness #3

King of  The Day

  • You know your cat's been reading too many fairy tales when...

  • This week's superhero: The Mighty Watch-bearing and Hand-sanitizing Cat

  • "Mine! Mine! All mine!"

  • "I wish they gave me a crown with less noise."

  • "Regular Watch: $75. Hand Sanitizer: $2. That silly-grinning-face(s)-of-whom-will-provide-my-regular-meal-in-return: PRICELESS"
    Submitted by enda.


  • Beware: Egomaniacal Cat!

  • Single, striped male seeks female companions for ruling his kingdom together under a watchful crown and clean government.

  • Animal Preservation Campaign: Sanitize your hands before touching!
    Thanks to pip.

The above picture belongs to isman. For those who missed it, see the previous entry: You Only Live Nine Times.


Q:Hey, I tried searching for "Caption Writing Madness" (without the quotes) on your site's search box up there. But it gave me false leads. What gives?
A: Algorithms. The feature you talked about is powered by AtomSearch engine, so it'll work accordingly. The keywords you entered will make the engine search word per word, and somehow miss the actual page. You'll be able to find a more relevant results by entering "Caption+Writing+Madness" (without the quotes) or "Caption Writing Madness" (with the quotes).

Q: 'Kay, then... Why the fascination of cats?
A: Two reasons: they don't mind being manipulated when they're sleepy. And when sober, they're too lazy to protest anyway. Both points make them better amateurish photography targets than humans.

Q: But there are many other subjects that also fit on those two reasonings.
A: Yes, such as dead insects. Which also make good conversational topics around lunch.

Q: Really?
A: Sure. Try it the next business lunch with your colleagues. When one of them asks, "So how's your day?" Reply with enthusiasm, "Great! I never knew cockroaches can still move around even when you've squashed its insides out. It will try to crawl around, dragging his upper body while the insides oozing out on the floor. Really cool!" You'll notice that your colleagues will then keep their distance. Because this topic commands respect.

Q: Thanks! So how about lunch next week?
A: No, no, my friend, you've earned my respect already. Go practice with someone else.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Irony Of Things #4

According to "Strange Foods" by Jerry Hopkins, wild horses in America faced a threat of being endangered because they had to compete for water and forage with grazing cattle. The U.S. Bureau of Land management then ran a program to protect wild horses on public lands. "Excess horses" were rounded up and offered to the public for adoption. The governmnet spent more than US$1,000 to collect, vaccinate, brand, and administer the paperwork for each horse. And adopters pay US$125 for a healthy horse. The new "parent" agreed to keep the animals for at least one year. Some did, many didn't, most selling them for slaughter eventually, for about US$700 apiece. Since the program started in 1982, more than 165,000 animals have been rounded up, costing over $250 million.

Ironically, this sudden supplies boosted demand and the horse meat industry in the US.


In Chinese, the words for "crisis" and "opportunity" are the same. It introduces the phrase "A person's career opportunity is the fruit of another's crisis."

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Labor Tips #1

When your pregnancy has reached its 8-month period, start packing immediately! So if the baby suddenly decides to pop up early, you'll be prepared.

Rules of Packing:
#1: Never trust a guy to do the packing
#2: Pack essential things for you, the baby, and your partner separately

And last but not least...

#3: Never trust a guy to do the packing

This is what a common guy would pack when being instructed, "Just pack the essentials for our baby."

Guy's interpretation: The needs for grooming, responding to the call of nature, and self defense

While for the guy's essentials, he would've packed either a TV set or computer, one deodorant spray, and a LOT of food. So here's a useful tip. When your male partner starts trying to fit the boombox into your bag, just smile and instruct him in a calm manner. Trust me, we guys respond better that way. Especially when you're also holding the baby's self defense tools.


The country code for Russia is "007"

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Observational Humor Update

Jerry Seinfeld always has this thing for Superman. You Seinfeld fans out there may have noticed that there's a reference to superman in almost every 169 episodes of Seinfeld. Jerry took it to another level now by starring in (and cowriting) a few "webisodes" titled "The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman"

Apparently, Jerry and the Man of Steel hang around together now they both are "out of it."

Worth quoting:

Superman: Two.
Waiter: Do you have a reservation?
Superman: Superman.
Waiter: Hmm... no.
Superman: Maybe under "Man of Steel"?
Waiter: Man of steel... man of... yes, right here.
Jerry: Man of steel? Why did you do that?
Superman: Want somebody to catch us?
Jerry: No.
Superman: No we don't.
Watch the Today's Show interview here.

Truth is, these mini series are online ads for American Express. And you may also notice the shameless plug for "Comedian" on the site.


Back to Indonesia, TV7, a national TV channel, now airs the first comedy show ever that features a standup. How good is it? Well here are two hints:

#1: The show is called "Jayuz...Pliz Dong Ah!" (a reference to dry humor)
#2: Here's a sample of the joke
"I like to introduce my name now and then, because my momma used to say, "If you don't know the man... get to know him."

#3: Yes. That last one WAS the punchline.
#4: I know I said TWO hints but I can't help myself.

But anyway, at least it shows some good intention. IMO, a local standup comic is long overdue.


"Contemporary literature" is what we normally call some great works in literacy. Then after the authors are dead, we can call them "classic."
--Primadonna Angela

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Indonesian Spam Cont'd

We attended a social meeting last weekend. After the host extended his formal greeting the emcee offered whether anyone would like to respond.

An elderly lady jumped at the opportunity. "I'd like to congratulate the host for holding this event," was how she started. "...and I'd like to remind all the guests here as well: Don't forget to go to [name of building] next week! My organization is going to hold a bazaar! There will be seminar for healthy massages. There will be a singing festival!"

She went on and on for about 10 minutes before, "Oh right, I might as well introduce ourselves while we're at it. I'm here with my husband..." She looked around...
"...whom I don't know where right now," she concluded.

We suspected the husband hide himself. I don't blame him. I would've done the same thing.


Yesterday, my partner saw this plaque in the southern Bandung area that says:

R###### English School
Have you speak English?

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Magnetic Poetry Man Strikes Again!

My partner and I bought this mini-sized magnetic poetry set months ago, for something to do during writer's blockitis.

For you who hasn't heard the term before, a magnetic poetry set contains words printed on thin slabs of magnet.

So you just put them together on something made of iron or steel. Like a pencil box, your refrigerator door, or some mother-in-laws.

A close up of the picture above shows the great piece I normally contribute to our literacy world.

The Irony Of Things #2

"...A life that is clean, a heart that is true, And doing your best, that's success."

--Clifford Olson, the 1995 North American Open Poetry Contest's semifinalist.
Disqualified after the jury found out that in 1982 he was convicted of killing eleven chidren.

A local brand has just entered itself in the history of advertising by putting up a TV ad tagline that says: "Better than Best."

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Irony Of Things

According to "Strange Foods" by Jerry Hopkins, in 1996, a few naturalists made an interesting pitch to enviromentalist: arguing that the most effective way to guarantee the survival of threatened species would be to eat them.

Once there was market for these beasts as food, they suggested, people would start breeding these endangered species instead of killing them. So they would be like cows, pigs, oysters, and M&Ms.


Written in an Australian motorcycle manual:

Warning: Do not drink the battery acid. It doesn't taste good and will hurt you. Also do not bite the tyres, especially while the bike is moving.

Our lawyers made us put these warnings in.

Friday, May 28, 2004

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Apparently, they're going to make a movie out of Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys. The screenplay and directing would be carried out by Jeff Arch, the writer of "Sleepless in Seattle."

Worth quoting:

Dave told Jeff he must be thinking of a different book; the GUIDE TO GUYS had no characters and no story, and that most of the movies Dave had seen in his life tended to have those things. When Jeff assured Dave that this was the book he meant, Dave said he was crazy. Jeff said he knew he was crazy but there was still a good movie in the book. By then Dave had to go to the bathroom, so he said all right.


The last Google searches that led to this blog:

- intellect highway enda
- mosquitos bites isman
- "return to sender" "post office" "dead person"

The last two, in particular, are somehow creepy.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Indonesian Tourism Way

You can tell you're in a tourist trap by the number and variety of people who approach you after hanging around for some time.

One hour at Bandung's train station:
- Newspaper sellers: 2 times.
- Shoe polishers: 8 times.
- Religious book sellers: 3 times.

One hour at Jogjakarta's Malioboro:
- People offering becak rides:17 times.
- People offering becak rides and bakpia: 11 times.
- People offering delman rides: 8 times.
- Street merchants: 58 times.

If the dictionary defined a term called "offline spamming." Indonesia would've been a good example.


In one local reality show where they auditioned for the "Next Indonesian Supermodel", the first test was a height measurement. Every participants have to either be at least 170 cm high, or go home. During one of the interviews, a candidate said, "I've just failed the measurement test for the fourth times. But I'm going to try it again in five minutes. Who knows?"

Yeah. Who knows she'll develop brain cells.

Monday, May 24, 2004

The Joy Of Reading Food Labels

The label on a local brand of honey writes:

- Bitter honey
The same manufacturer also produces instant coffee called "Brillian," which puts up a label that says, "Made by UFO technology".

Somehow this invokes an image of aliens beaming down to earth, then extend their greetings (in monotonous voice), "We come in peace. We bring coffee."

(Thanks to Arga Aridarma.)


Although raindrop is commonly depicted as having the shape of a teardrop, modern photography shows that the actual shape is more like a hamburger bun.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

He Should Take That As A Hint For His Next Visit To The Barber

According to "Too Cold to Hatch a Dinosaur" by Barbara Seuling, a man standing on a boulder in Ontario was struck by lightning. The boulder splitted into several pieces, but the man merely lost his hair.

Which would've been a good spot for a wig advertisement.

We see Good Ol' Jim standing on a boulder.

Most people were given a healthy, natural hair since born...


After the flash, Good Ol' Jim is as hairless as a baby, standing over a cracked boulder. His clothes in tatter.

...until nature, takes it back.

Product logo showing.

Don-Me Wig, Your natural hair substitute.


The Australians named hurricanes after unpopular politicians.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Out Of The (Comment) Box

Today we're putting up good questions from the comment boxes. And we'll attempt to answer it as best as ants tango. To start, here's a rewritten question from donna.

Q: Do Amazons on Xena use bows and arrows as their main weapons? I mean, if their right breasts have to be removed in order to use the weapons effectively...
A: No. Amazons on Xena use sommersaults and annoying battle cries as their main weapons.

While serenity posed this one, we're going to make up all the rest.

Q: Regarding the voice-activated credit card, do you still have to swipe it?
A: Yes. And it will activate the battery-powered voice reminder, saying "Say your password now." Let's just hope the reminder won't say it three times.

Q: Is there any potential for the voice-activated card's future development?
A: Well, we believe Beepcard shouldn't stop at voice. If the card also recognize actions, it could as well be the perfect solution against frauds. For instance, if you record yourself doing an impersonation of Village People's YMCA, your card would be safe. And you'll save a lot of money as well, because you'll think twice before using the card in public places.

Q: Why do you suddenly refer yourself as "we"?
A: We don't know. But we're sure it sounds pompous. Take Napoleon.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Today's Quotation

"...Well, I forgot where I put the memory."
--Dino Turino Setiawan


Some time ago, a client inquired about our project development. He questioned why haven't we made the database three-level deep.

"We'd have done so if that was necessary, Mr. [name of client]. But you specifically requested us to follow [name of his other project]'s rule," I replied. "It only has two levels."

The client laughed. "It appears that you haven't been in touch with it. [name of his other project] has been upgraded, you see?"

I was skeptic, but kept my silence. The reason is, the client actually forgot that we were the ones that developed his other project. Which is why I'm sure it consist of only two levels and is not that easy to be "upgraded." Whatever "upgraded" means.

"See," he said. Opening the [name of his other projet] application on his laptop, and clicking on a menu. "This is level one."

I just nodded.

He clicked a submenu leading deeper, "This is level two..." And the application just stops there. No deeper links. Even if you click on any objects on that application, it won't bring you anywhere save the previous entry or Home.
Disturbing pause.
"So I think," the client said calmly. "We just need to build a link here that goes deeper."

"I see," responded I in a similar manner, even though what I really wanted to do was jumping onto the table and shout, "WHO DA MAN, NOW? WHO DA MAN?"

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Watch Out! Here Comes The Mighty Pizza Hunter

For a time now, I've been getting on "The Warrior Diet." One of the main reasons is because the name sounds cool. If there's another method called "The Nuclear Thermoblast Diet" I might consider changing.

The Warrior Diet's a method devised by a guy named Ori after studying the behavior of ancient hunters. He observed that hunters at those times ate and drank a lot. If there were an open position for hunters, the ad would say:

If you:
- Hunt animals
- Eat a lot
- Drink a lot
See Jim the Bartender
Yet these hunters retained their lean, muscular bodies. Considering that at those times computer touchup wasn't yet devised, Ori figured there's gotta be something behind this.

So he investigated their eating habits. This proved to be difficult, because most of those hunters died hundreds of years ago. So he resorted to research instead. Apparently hunters started the day with a light meal before going hunting ("Waiter! Light meal, please"). Then during the hunt, they ate jerky, dried fruits, or roots, only to keep their energy filled (and of course, no animals would want to come closer to a person--no matter how camouflaged he is--whose stomach growls all the time).

Only after a successful hunt, a hunter then proceeded to have a feast. He'd skin the prey, dry them, and prepare the fire. At this point, some of them started browsing for barbeque recipes.

Sometimes they failed in their hunt, yet their vigor remained, which didn't resemble a modern human's behavior when [s]he misses a mealtime. I have a friend to whom I've always wanted to give an Oscar everytime he wails and complains that he's going to miss lunch (at 10:30 AM) because of a deadline ("My ulcer, it's screaming...")

"So that's why they're lean!" you probably thought. Not entirely correct. Indeed, hunters kept their body lean because on average, they only ate ONE big meal a day. But also because the body's undernutritious during the day, on the evening it was ready to absorp the big meal. This circle is similar to Islam's way of fasting, Ori noted, but The Warrior Diet constitutes drinking a lot of water and eating tiny portions during the day.

In short, survive the day hunting, and reward your body with a feast at night. Another reason why I chose this diet is because on the book, Ori wrote, and I quote, "Go Hunt a Pizza!"(1)


Written on a menu brochure of a food court in Bandung, under the Juices&Punches:
Grave Juice
(Thanks to my partner, The Semantic Hunter)

1: The theme song would go something like this...
He~~re comes
The Mighty Pizza Hunter
He'll always
crave during the day

Feast comes
At night when peace has gather'd
But it all stops
when he has to pay